Dating is harder than ever in 2018. Whether in a relationship or looking to find your S.O., the landscape has changed – banter happens in text rather than over a pint at the bar, both men and women have equal power, and the flirt has completely changed. So how can you make an impression from the first swipe right to your fifth wedding anniversary?
Be true to your own style and comfort, but also be considerate. Before heading out for a romantic evening, a woman will spend upwards of 2 hours getting ready – it makes her feel sexy and she wants to look good for you. While she doesn’t expect you to spend the same amount of time, putting on a clean, ironed shirt and leaving the baseball hat at home goes a long way. This continues past the first date, too: dress up for your wife, wear some aftershave and generally show her that you care about yourself – and, in turn, her.
Be warm and open
Your secret weapon in any relationship is knowing how to listen, and showing this through your body language. Lean in a little closer when your date is sharing her interests, don’t interrupt or speak over her, nod and say ‘mmhm’ or ‘aha’ when you’re genuinely interested in what she has to say. In counselling, we call these micro-skills, and they create a warm and open environment so the other person feels safe to open up. Combine these with mirroring her body language (lean in when she does, smile when she smiles, etc) and you’ll have her loving every minute.
Use modern manners
Manners are the first thing to go when dating today. Please and Thank You are just as important in text as they are in person. Don’t wait 24 hours to respond to a woman – she knows what you’re doing, another guy has done it before you and it hasn’t ended well for either of them. Send a text after a date that simply says, ‘Loved meeting you. Hope you have a nice night.’ Open the door for her even if it seemingly ‘goes against equality’. Do these things because you genuinely care – not only about her feelings, but also about how you want to be perceived. It doesn’t take much to be a gentleman.
Share your passions (and listen to hers)
Seeing a guy talk about his goals and dreams is sexy as hell. We want to hear what makes you tick, your reason for living. It can be a month-long tour of Africa you’re planning, the promotion you’re gunning for at the job you love, or your Border Collie, Ralph. The smile on your face as you discuss your passion makes her melt. And hearing you ask questions and show interest in hers puts the cherry on top.
Let her know where she stands
If you like the woman, tell her. She’ll love to hear how she makes you feel; so don’t be afraid to share your feelings. Equally, she understands that sometimes the spark just isn’t there (and sometimes it fades after a few years). Thanks to apps like Tinder, we’re under the impression as a society that potential lovers are interchangeable. If you don’t feel it, let her know. Ghosting is a waste of time for both of you – you’ll receive unwanted messages asking if you want to catch up, while she wonders if you’re OK and what went wrong. It’s exhausting and unnecessary. Just don’t do it.
I’m a strong believer that how you date is how you do life. If you’re a genuine guy who takes care of himself, knows his manners, thanks his wait-staff and has drive (be it career or personal), then you’re the kind of guy women want to be with. And of course, you should expect the same from us!
Follow the above guidelines and I promise you’ll be looked upon fondly – second date or not.
Tammi Ireland is a sex educato